Katrina and Erik Had a Surprise Guest At Their Reception


In February of 2012, Katrina’s mom paid for a subscription to CatholicMatch to encourage her reluctant daughter. Though Katrina felt she was too busy to date because of her new job, she went ahead and created a profile.208823_4116916087437_1328910573_n

CatholicMatch wasn’t Katrina’s first attempt at online dating; she tried other free sites. “Those just led to the types of guys that I was not looking for,” confesses Katrina, 30.

Erik, now 33, joined in September of 2011 because he didn’t have time to go out and meet people; he worked long hours six days a week. He had once promised himself he would never do online dating, but he decided to give it a chance. “I didn’t believe in it at first, and I didn’t think it was an effective way to meet someone.”

Six months later he would prove himself wrong.

She Winked First

Katrina had been a member for a month and had only gone on a few dates, so she was ready to throw in the towel when Erik popped up in her “matches” on her CatholicMatch home page. “I sent a ‘wink’ to Erik, who had at the time unsubscribed but kept his profile on the site. He saw the wink from me, and he decided to take another chance and subscribed again so that we could message each other.”

Excited about Erik, Katrina could see from his profile that they had much in common—they held the same core beliefs and family was a priority.
Wedding ~ Katrina & Erik-239-2
When Erik first saw Katrina’s picture, he was drawn to her eyes and smile. “I also liked her sense of humor, religious and political views, family values, and that she’s a Disney fanatic and a cat lover.”

A few weeks after meeting on CatholicMatch, on March 24, 2012, they went on their first date, but it wasn’t the first time Katrina had seen Erik in person. “Technically, we saw each other before our first date. I went to the Hard Rock Casino, where Erik is a chef, with five of my friends including my sister. We met Erik when he was just coming out of work. We only talked for fifteen minutes because employees are not allowed to hang out at the casino.”

For their first date, they dined at GrillSmith on Katrina’s side of town. “We talked the whole time about our jobs, about what we were doing in our lives at the moment, and about our families,” Katrina remembers.

Erik adds, “The first date [seemed] more like a third or fourth date because we had chatted online and on the phone.”

Getting Over Emotional Baggage

Katrina and Erik’s relationship took off after their first date, but they had to overcome the hurdle of dealing with past hurts. Katrina reveals, “I had been through some relationships which had made me lose trust in men, so I had to overcome that in order to put all of my trust in Erik.”

Katrina learned to trust Erik as she noticed how he gave her his full attention, never canceled plans on her with an odd excuse, and seemed happy to be around her. She also appreciated that he wasn’t secretive about his cell phone calls. “This alone showed me that Erik was definitely trustworthy and that he wasn’t hiding anything. Normally the other guys I dated—those that I couldn’t trust—would hide their phones when it rang or they got a text.”

FB_IMG_1462911990812Meeting Erik’s family helped Katrina to feel confident he was honest with her. “His family dynamic showed me how he was raised, and I saw how he respected his mother.”

Erik also had trust issues because too many of his relationship—which he thought were becoming serious—turned out to be “friends only” situations. “When he told me that, in the past, he had had some relationships where he wanted more than friendship, but women wanted to be just friends or used him while they were ‘taking a break’ from their ex-boyfriend; I knew I had to make an effort to show him how much I cared.”

Epic Disney Proposal

In August of 2013, Erik surprised Katrina with a proposal at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. “After the live show of one of my favorites, Beauty and the Beast, we were told we had been chosen to meet the cast and had to wait around,’ Katrina reminisces. “While we were waiting around, Erik proposed on one knee, and the curtains went up, and the whole cast was back there congratulating us and then the Beauty and the Beast theme started playing. It was perfect! I was so surprised I didn’t know how to react, and I cried afterward.”

On Oct 18, 2014, they were married at Erik’s parish, Nativity Catholic Church, in Brandon, FL. “Our priest was awesome! He is our age, around 30, and his homily still resounds with us and many of those that attended our wedding. Father had a good message about how marriage is not easy and how it does take three people [spouses and God],” Katrina shares.

FB_IMG_1463766029905In keeping with their Disney proposal, their wedding planner had arranged, unbeknownst to Erik and Katrina, to have someone who dressed as a Belle from Beauty and the Beast come to their reception.

“We were both so surprised! It was perfect, and she even went out to the reception and greeted people and took pictures with them. Our first dance was to the Beauty and the Beast theme song.”

For Katrina and Erik, one of the best aspects of being married is having a special someone to come home to. “I know that he will be there even when he is mad at me, or when we don’t agree on something.”

Erik adds, “Having her to share experiences and challenges means a lot.”



  1. Miluska-1441259 May 27, 2017 Reply

    So romantic! I love it, I’ve cried also, congrats!!!!

  2. Theresa-1379536 May 24, 2017 Reply

    God has blessed you both with each other. Make every day special life is a blessing . i love your fairy tale story!!!!! Much happiness and love….

  3. Rhodora-183219 May 20, 2017 Reply

    God bless your marriage! Love your story and your persons!

  4. Stephanie-1368834 May 20, 2017 Reply

    I truly enjoyed reading your story, happily ever after. 🙂 Thank you for sharing it. May God continue to bless you both most abundantly. Sts. Louis and Zelie Martin, pray for us!

  5. Catherine-996317 May 19, 2017 Reply

    “Tale as old as time…”
    Congratulations you two! Stepping out of your comfort zones had beautiful results. Blessings to both of you!
    P.S. I love that movie, too.

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